This article considers the complexities of caring for patients with primary brain tumours. The incidence, classification and clinical signs and symptoms are outlined. Adult patients experience disabling effects as a result of a brain tumour, which is often accompanied by high morbidity and mortality rates. The various treatment options available are summarised. However, for many patients, there are limited curative treatment options and the main focus is palliative care. The nurse's contribution to care and support of these patients and their families is discussed, with the aim of improving their quality of life.